Larry Elder

A "jealous rage," Fox's Geraldo Rivera called it.

Before taping a "Fox & Friends" segment, Rev. Jesse Jackson, with his microphone on, sat next to another man. Turning to him, Jackson, speaking softly, launched into an attack on Barack Obama. "Barack, he's talking down to black people on this faith-based …" said Jackson. "I want to cut (Obama's) nuts off."

Even before Fox aired the remarks, Jackson appeared on CNN and offered a pre-emptive apology. "I said something I felt regret for," said Jackson. "It was crude. It was very private and very much a sound bite -- and a live mike. And so I feel -- I find no comfort in it. I find no joy in it. So I immediately called the senator's campaign to send my statement of apology to repair the harm or hurt that this may have caused his campaign, because I support it unequivocally."

But why did he say it?

Yes, Jackson ran for the presidency in 1984, and even more credibly in 1988. Geraldo, as do others, suggest the green-eyed monster -- envy. And what about a possible personal dislike of Obama? When the senator first announced his candidacy, Jackson withheld his endorsement. Jackson later criticized Obama because, in Jackson's opinion, Obama only mildly weighed in on the Jena Six "scandal." Jackson accused Obama of "acting like he's white." Still, Jackson's outburst seems too over-the-top, far too angry.

Did Obama incur Jackson's wrath because of the candidate's shifts and flip-flops on a number of issues -- Iraq, Iran, FISA, NAFTA, the death penalty, abortion, the Second Amendment, the disposition of Jerusalem, the abandonment of his former pastor (Rev. Wright) and his church of 20 years, and public financing of election campaigns? Apparently not. Jackson made no reference to Obama's newfound positions.

What about differences of opinion between Jackson and Obama on policy and ideology? No, since both denounce the Bush administration, oppose the Iraq war, support universal health care, want taxes raised on the so-called rich, and seek a playing-field-leveling governmental role in education, job training and welfare.

What about Obama's condemnation of men who irresponsibly breed children and then abandon them? Obama, a few weeks earlier, before a predominantly black church audience in Chicago, said: "We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. That doesn't just make you a father. What makes you a man is not the ability to have a child. Any fool can have a child. That doesn't make you a father. It's the courage to raise a child that makes you a father. … Don't just sit in the house and watch 'SportsCenter' all weekend long. … (Kids should) replace the video game or the remote control with a book once in a while."

Now we're getting warm.


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.